One of India’s fiercest disability rights champion Javed Abidi has died at the age of 53. He was the director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People and the founder of the Disability Rights Group.
Born in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh, Abidi was always vocal about the discriminating treatment meted out to people with disability. In January this year, he called for the removal of sections in various laws, including the personal laws, which he claimed were “discriminatory” to people suffering from leprosy.
The news of his death has dominated the conversations on social media with people paying their tributes to the famous disability rights champion.
Farewell Javed Abidi, forceful inspiring voice for the rights of the disabled, shunning sentimentality and mawkishness, for positive, collective action. You were exceptional. RIP
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) March 4, 2018
Tragic to hear about the death of Javed Abidi who was India’s best known disability rights activist in the recent times. Huge loss to the movement. Interviewed him several times on his campaigns and about speaking truth to the power in last few years. Rest in Peace, Sir. pic.twitter.com/gjpAaFLXRF
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) March 4, 2018
Javed Abidi pushed the fight for access and inclusion like no other. From a charity and pity based model to one of rights.
— rama lakshmi (@RamaNewDelhi) March 4, 2018
Awful, awful news – Javed Abidi has passed away. He really galvanized the sector and spearheaded the valiant attempt to work cross disability in India. His efforts were instrumental in the creation and capacity building of this present generation of disability rights activists.
— Amba (@MumbaiCentral) March 4, 2018
— Prasanto K Roy (@prasanto) March 4, 2018
Deeply saddened to learn about the untimely demise of Javed Abidi, one of the most passionate advocate of people with disabilities and the sector owes many schemes to his untiring efforts. His passing away has created a huge vaccume in the Indian disability space. RIP Javed bhai pic.twitter.com/R51D1uWcsU
— Akhil Paul (@36Garhi) March 4, 2018
— Shai Venkatraman (@shaivenkat) March 4, 2018